Ball Pythons Poor Incomplete Shedding

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Ball Pythons Poor Incomplete Shedding:

When a snake properly sheds, the skin comes off in one complete piece. When a Ball Pythons enclosure is set up properly to meet the snake’s needs it will shed without assistance. If your Ball Python consistently experiencing shedding problems, it usually means the enclosure is too dry. You will need to bring the humidity level up. The humidity level in the snake’s enclosure should be at least 60%.  Do not raise the humidity too high, this can cause skin problems. If you do not address the lack of humidity in the enclosure, your snake will constantly experience shedding issues and you will find yourself consistently assisting it shed. An accumulation of bad sheds built up over time, can be very detrimental to your snake. If skin builds up around the opening to the cloaca, this can cause an infection in your snake. Retained eye caps over time can cause scaring and possible blindness. Over time, incomplete sheds will result in raised scales. Problems shedding can also a sign of dehydration. Make sure your Ball Pythons has a fresh supply of water. Check their water daily to make sure that it is free of defecation or urate. If the snake’s water is dirty it will refrain from drinking the water. The water bowl should be large enough for the Ball Python to soak itself if it so chooses especially if you are experiencing shedding issues.

There are a couple of things you can do when your Python Regius experiences an incomplete shed. You can soak your snake in a container or place a humidity box in the enclosure.

Soaking: Before you attempt to assist your snake, make sure the snake is showing signs of shedding. Once you have determined this you may begin the soaking.

1) Turn your A.C. off if you are running one. Any cool drafts can potentially cause a respiratory infection.

2) Fill a container (not too deep) with warm water; no warmer than 88-90 degrees. I use a temperature gun to determine this. If you use room temperature water, make sure the room is not cold. The container should have a two to three inch gap between the surface of the water and the lid. Make sure the container is breathable, not air tight. The snake can soak in the container from 15-30 minutes. Always make sure to check the water temperature; you do not want it to get too cold.

3) Remove the snake from the water. Gently rub your hand from the neck area down towards the tail. If the snake is truly ready to shed, the skin will easily start to roll back. Remember always roll the skin from the head to the tail. This is the natural direction in which a snake sheds. 

4) During the drying process, if the A.C. has been turned off and the enclosure is properly heated and free from drafts, you can place the Ball Python directly inside its housing. If the A.C. is on in this room you might want to dry your Python Regius prior to placing the snake back in its enclosure. You can do so by gently patting the snake down with either a towel or paper towels. The main point is that your snake does not catch a cold draft of air, which could result in a respiratory infection.  


Prevention: If you use the type of enclosure that meets your snake’s needs, you will be less likely to experience bad sheds. The enclosure must retain the proper humidity levels. Unfortunately, many people house Ball Pythons in the same manner they would house a desert lizard. 

I hope this information helps those who are experiencing shedding problems with their snakes. Thank you for your time.


Best of luck,
Living Art Reptiles.
Source Information:
Living Art Reptiles
Photos: Living Art Reptiles & Joe Compel.

Ball Python care and maintenance

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